What does it Mean to Repent and Believe?

Gilbert Corliss
2 min readApr 28, 2021
Photo by Catalin Pop on Unsplash

Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the good news of God, saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God has come near; repent and believe in the good news.”
— Mark 1:14–15

What is it that the writer of Mark meant by the words “repent” and “believe?”

Looking at the word translated from the Greek as “repent” we find the word is metanoeite. This word is based upon two words: meta (beyond) and nous (mind or spirit). So it means to go beyond the mind.

Repent and a Moralistic Interpretation

The act of repentance has taken on a moralistic interpretation, suggesting that we need to change our behavior or action. But Jesus is hinting at something more fundamental of being. We, instead, need to find a new way of seeing reality. The soul needs to be transformed.

Matanoia (noun) Change of Mind or Purpose

The purpose of Christianity is to change the way we see reality. We need to see that the Kingdom of God is spread throughout the world. For this reason, we must stop seeing, knowing, perceiving with the mind of fear, but rather with one of trust. Trust in the good news.

Belief as a Misunderstood Word

Believe (pisteute) is terribly misunderstood as meaning that we should assent to religious propositions without evidence. Faith is the last refuge since the age of enlightenment of uncritical people, looking for assurance, and willing to swallow even the most far-fetched theories and beliefs.

Biblically, this word has nothing to do with irresponsible rationality. To quote Bishop Robert Baron (Word on Fire Institute): “To have faith is to allow oneself to be overwhelmed by the power of God, to permit Devine energy to reign in all levels of one’s being.”

To believe is letting go.

“Every encounter that brings me a caress as a shock to me, that bruises or breaks me, is a contact with the hand of God.”
— Cosmic Life — Teilhard de Chardin

To believe is to let go. Live in confidence of the greater soul. Belief is a radical change in the way we see reality. Let go and find your true self in God.

Gilbert Corliss

Novelist, self-studied in many sciences, theology, music, and art.